HSN 24-Hour Craft Events Are THE DEVIL!

Two weeks ago today, HSN was having one of their “24-hour craft event” programming days, where from midnight to midnight, all the products they show are craft-related. They’re also known as “Kathy is definitely filing for bankruptcy soon” days in my inner circle.

I always hope and pray I don’t find out about the crafting days so that I’m not even remotely tempted to spend money on anything, but with my religious following of crafter extraordinaires like Amber from Damask Love, Beth from Kingston Crafts, Anna Griffin & Sara Davies from Crafter’s Companion, it’s absolutely mission impossible.

I’ve been a victim of HSN’s 24 hour days for over a year now, and during that time, I’ve succumbed to my desire to purchase the following items (in no specific order):

we-r-memory-keepers-alphabet-punch-board.jpegWe R Memory Keepers – Alphabet Punch Board: When I tell you that I will be in physical pain if I don’t buy whatever Amber shows, I’m not kidding. As soon as I saw her punching out letters in seconds, I could see myself making 387845437984 banners with the punch board. Even though I have a Cricut machine where I can cut literally anything in any size, sometimes I don’t want to crank it up and do this whole operation with mats and digital designs if I’m making something simple. Please recycle this same explanation for 95% of the products I’ll list below. I have, unfortunately, not yet used my punch board 😦 but I will!

xyron-creative-station.jpgXyron XRN510 Creative Station: I believe Beth is the one to blame here for selling this so well, but honestly the Xyron adhesive products family sells itself. I’ve actually used it a number of times when I’ve had intricate items that I need to stick but don’t want to use glue for, and it made my life so much easier! I did have to go back in with a weeder to take out the adhesive from the holes, but no biggie. Still saved me tons of time!

 

Image result for diamond press crafters companionThe Diamond Press by Crafter’s Companion: Sara Davies could sell me a used needle if she wanted to. She is such a masterful crafter and showcaser of items, that I am defenseless against her charm! She showed the Diamond Press on its launch day at HSN, and I got it with the auto-ship (when they release more die cuts in future months and you sign up to get them automatically as soon as they come out). I haven’t used it either, but I already have a couple of events/ideas lined up to use it in the near future (::cough cough:: #MyBestFriendsWedding ::cough cough::).

We R Memory Keepers-Banner Punch Board: Amber, I’m going to start billing you for my purchases. Why do you do this to me, girl? You sold me on this so hard, I couldn’t turn away. And don’t even try to act innocent, I got receipts! Anywho, I bought this baby because again, I might not really feel like jump-starting my Cricut to cut big triangles for a banner, nor do I want to do it by hand. This seemed like a good enough reason to buy the punch board, and I did use it right away to create a banner for a friend’s birthday!

 

Now, for my most recent acquisitions, which just arrived and I’ve already started using –

Xyron® Sticker Makers Magnet Tape & Mega Runner™Xyron Sticker Makers Magnet Tape & Mega Runner: Since one of my crafty friends raved about her ATG tape runner gun, I’ve been wondering whether or not it’s worth the investment for me, but I hadn’t settled on it until May 9th, 2017, when HSN decided to bundle a Xyron tape runner with two sticker maker mini stations AND a magnet tape roll as well, all for $29.99. Who can say no to that?! If you can, I don’t trust you.

 

Crafter's Companion 3D Embossing Folders SetCrafter’s Companion 3D Embossing Folders Set: I don’t have a Cuttlebug (kind of like the Diamond Press, but bigger), I’ve never wanted one and I never thought I would, but when I saw Sara Davies making this on live TV, I have never wanted something more in my life! My crafty friend offered to gift me her old Cuttlebug machine and I said DONE! I took advantage of the Flex-Pay option HSN was offering that day so that I wouldn’t feel as guilty seeing the full price in one swipe, and now these stunning folders are mine! I almost bought the gold wax they use to get this effect, but they were sold out. Things selling out are my only saving grace.

I love all of these things so much, even if I haven’t had the chance to use them as much yet. I know I’ll make use of them soon, whether it’s for items for #MyBestFriendsWedding or for any other event, I’ll get my money’s worth. In the meantime though, I think I should stay away from any upcoming 24-hour craft events for my well-being (and my wallet’s!).

#MyBestFriendsWedding Chapter 3: The ProMOHsal!

Guys. It happened. I’m still so excited I can barely contain myself… My biff Michelle asked me to be her Maid of Honor!!!!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH ❤

I wanted to share this with you all because 1. This legitimates this series even more since I’ll be documenting every moment of the journey as I #makeallthethings in my official role as crafty MOH and 2. I really think Michelle made the most meaningful boxes, so I just have to show y’all how amazingly she did!

Even though most of us knew we’d be bridesmaids because we always talk about it, it was a beautiful moment to see the boxes with our names on it, and even more – open my box and find the “Will you be my Maid of Honor?” card in there. We didn’t know when she’d ask us because she wanted to keep it a surprise, but of course the perfect moment was at the engagement party, since we’d all be there already and she didn’t have to get us together on a separate occasion. I did have a feeling she was going to do it that day because she asked me for help in making some stuff with my Cricut she was going to include in her boxes (and some for Brian’s boxes as well), and they asked for it literally in the midst of my crazy week finishing stuff for their party and all the other orders I had due that same day… But I digress 😛

So, the box-opening moment – ah! My adrenaline was rushing. Michelle’s mom, Marta was looking at me and smiling so I was super anxious and then bam. I saw the words and started jumping! Now let’s go into the BEAUTIFUL stuff my biff got for us. As you may have seen on the interwebs, the “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” boxes are very in right now, and a lot of them have the same few items: a small bottle of champagne, a nail polish, maybe some jewelry with a knot in it (a “help me tie the knot” reference), and some other random item. Michelle wanted to do something different, and she KNOCKED it out of the park!

 

Isn’t it beautiful? This is what she included:

1. A picture of her and each bridesmaid in an adorable frame.

2. The “Rosé all day” gummies from Sugarfina.

3. A customized golden pouch with our names on it.

4. The most beautiful little compact mirror, customized with our names as well

5. The color palette preview of our dresses!

The “Color Palette” words glued to the inside of the box lid were what she asked me to cut out with my Cricut, because of course that cannot be done by hand. And for Brian, they asked me to cut out a bow tie and four buttons, to do this:

FYI – Brian’s boxes were also a knockout. He included a flask, the Cuba Libre gummies from Sugarfina as well, and a wooden bottle opener you hang on the wall with the guy’s initials engraved on it. BOSS GROOMSMEN!

Bring on the MOH duties sonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!

#MyBestFriendsWedding, Chapter 2: The Engagement Party

Now that my best friend got engaged, I am the happiest crafter alive, and I’m ready to make ALL of the things. First stop: engagement party central!

My biff (that’s what we call each other :P) Michelle, like most women, has had an idea of what she wants her wedding to look like, so her mom Marta and I are going with a similar feel for the engagement party. The rustic vibe is very in right now and she likes it a lot, so let’s get to it!

Michelle’s parents have a beautiful home with a great backyard where they’ve hosted lots and lots of parties, so we know the space pretty well and have an idea of how to set things up to maximize each area. This Pinterest board has a lot of the inspiration for the stuff I made for the party, so let’s dive right in to the final products!

  • The decor: I’ll wrap a few of the items into this category so this doesn’t end up the long testament my blogs usually are hehe… Our color palette for the party was Blush Pink, Taupe, Ivory & Rose Gold. Lots of burlap, lace, and a vintage classic vibe made everything really pretty and Pinterest-y!
  • The photo booth & props: Brian (Michelle’s fiance) is very handy, so Marta and I asked him to build a rustic-looking frame that we could drape and place in the garden to create a photo booth area. Brian did such an amazing job that I almost didn’t even want to dress the frame, but at the same time I’ve been loving the mixture of delicate with rustic/industrial so with his part done, it was time to make it pop. The fabric Marta found for the frame was shiny, shimmery & splendid. I also did a “she said yaaasss” banner, and added some vintage bulbs and baby’s breath to make it all come together. To finish the look, we hung a bunch of mismatched lamps from the tree, and it all looked beautiful both during the day and at night! For the props, I wanted to do something different from what I always do, since after all, props are kind of my niche… I actually started to design a completely different idea from what it ended up being, but I’m super happy with the end result. I used burlap paper, designed the props on PowerPoint, printed them out, cut & glued them to cardstock for hold and voila! Awesome props to complement an already great photo booth area!
  • The favors: I didn’t get any good pictures of the final product here, but long story short: plastic bags, burlap strips, circle “Brian POPPED the question, Michelle said yes!” tags, popcorn. You get the idea!
  • The calligraphy: boy oh boy do I hate my handwriting/penmanship. I’ve always wanted to have pretty handwriting, but it’s just not in my skill set. I can pull off a few tries but I hate writing slowly and when I go fast, there’s no way to control the strokes… So when Marta showed me the boards and table tent signs, I kind of swallowed hard and said ok… I got this! I did those the night before the party, and I was so stressed the entire time. If I’m honest, the first tent signs didn’t come out as good as the last ones. It’s true what they say, calligraphy is a practice thing. Although some people are just born with those magically beautiful calligraphy skills!
  • Some close-ups: making this cake topper gave me so much life! I couldn’t stop staring at my Cricut cutting the rose gold card stock stuff! And I had a full blown photo shoot with the mason jars when I finished dressing them… O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D. Have I mentioned I don’t typically like burlap?! I know…
  • The edgy fun part: when it comes to Michelle’s family, there’s always something fun/edgy/borderline inappropriate thing happening, and I’m all too happy to oblige and do my part for it. This time around, Marta bought an apron for Michelle’s uncle as he’d be cooking the dinner during the party, and again, thank you Pinterest for this awesomely hilarious idea 🙂

After about a month of prep, I’m truly so happy with how everything turned out and now I can focus on the bachelorette, bridal shower and whatever Michelle asks me to make for the wedding! (please biff, let me make it allllllllllllllllllllllllll! haha kidding! no, not really…)

 

PS: Oh and one last thing – this was something new I decided to try: window cling! I wanted to make something for the bar area, so I went with some string lights, a “cheers to michelle & brian,” and that’s all she wrote! For real this time!

I added a heart with a “to” afterwards but this picture is where the window cling shows the best!

Riding Sturdy: Grand Finale!

Aw man! Such a thrilling ride it’s been with this order – from the moment I got the call, to tackling the making of the ramp, the little truck boxes and finally the big truck prop… So you know, the end will be no different!

Before I show you the final pictures of everything, let’s talk about the pickup. When I was asked to make the ramp, I told birthday boy Mateo’s mom that I didn’t want to go too big because 1. Transportation and 2. Fitting it through doors/doorways. She said that wouldn’t be a problem. So when I was looking for the materials, I ran the size by her (4 x 8 ft.), and she said yes, so I proceeded. She mentioned she had a big car, so I didn’t give it much thought. After the initial building of the structure, I felt I had to confirm with her that this wouldn’t fit in a standard SUV, and she should borrow a van or pick-up truck because otherwise, this monster ramp wouldn’t make it out of my house.  She was thankfully able to find a friend with a truck, and we were good to go… on to a few more hiccups.

On the morning of the order pickup (just a few hours before the party started), Mateo’s dad showed up with a friend and a pick-up truck, and as soon as they both saw the ramp they said “WOW” and their eyes bulged out a bit as they turned to see how they’d make this work. As soon as I saw the truck, I could see the bed wasn’t long enough for the ramp to fit with the latch closed… So I started panicking internally a bit. The one good thing about the ramp, is that it was surprisingly lightweight. When they carried it and placed it on the truck, it looked like this –

It. Reached. All. The. Way. Down. To. The. Latch. AHH. Thankfully, I had the rope I bought to bring the wood home with me from the store, and also some bungee cords. They tied it down and promised to drive slowly. I later found out it took them an hour and thirty minutes to get home. That’s a promise well-kept! The big truck prop didn’t fit (anywhere really) but we managed to squeeze it in the sedan they brought along by folding the top lights a bit. Remember how I didn’t glue the flag out of fear it would make the fit even worse? Best idea I’ve ever had.

But don’t relax for one second because now the best part starts – as they’re making knots securing the ramp, I hear something about an elevator ride… and I ask “wait, the party isn’t on a ground floor?!” And to my shock, no, it wasn’t. The party was on a sixth floor. Guys. When I tell you I nearly fainted upon hearing this, I’m not kidding. You mean, a structure I’ve never built before has to not only survive 3-5 year old children, but it also has to fit into an elevator? Had I known this from the beginning, I would’ve gone for something much, much smaller. To make the rest of the long story short – the ramp made it! After unsuccessfully trying to bring it up the stairs (due to length clashing with angles/turns), they figured out that even though the elevator threshold was low, the inside was more giving and they could slide it in. But – one more hiccup, for the ride – the elevator door-frame at the 6th floor was slightly thinner than where they packed it in, so they had one last struggle getting it out.

Thankfully, I saw pictures and videos of the birthday boy, Mateo, and all his friends having a great time sliding down the monster trucks, and we all lived happily ever after. And finally for the long-awaited pictures –

The Monster Ramp

The Monster Truck Boxes

The Monster Truck Prop 

Hope you enjoyed going on this journey with me! Stay tuned for more crazy craftventures ❤

Riding Sturdy, Chapter 3: The Big Truck Prop

For the third and final installment of this order (click here for the intro, part 1, and part 2)- the big truck prop/photo booth station for Mateo’s fourth birthday. The inspiration for this craft were this picture and this one too.

If I’m honest, when I initially got this order, I ranked the items in my head in the following categories and order:

Category A: How hard it will be to make – 1. Ramp, 2. Truck Prop, 3. Box Trucks

Category B: Which will be the biggest hit – 1. Ramp, 2. Box Trucks, 3. Truck Prop

But I really didn’t think the truck prop would stump me so hard when it came to making it happen. When I tell people that the problem with creative work is that you need to be in the mood, this is one of the examples of how that can be such a big hurdle to overcome. I can stare at something for three weeks and not know what to do with it, and then an idea strikes and I get it done in no time. That was exactly the case with this truck prop. I thought I’d make this one in a much shorter time-frame and didn’t see the challenge until it was staring me dead in the face. I began by selecting my canvas, when… I LOVE when this happens: I was staring at some big boxes in my garage that I’d purchased forever ago and have used to deliver big local orders, and I said to myself – that’s the truck. I grabbed two of the boxes, stacked them together, cut out the blank space for pictures, spray painted them and BAM! Ready! Looking like a car already (at least in my head)…

But the problem was, after getting to this point, I stared at it for two weeks without knowing where to go next. I originally wanted to make the lower small flaps the wheels, and the center flap would be sort of a (I don’t know the right terminology here so I’ll quit while I’m ahead and just show a picture of what I imagined), but the design didn’t add up in my head. So I walked away and worked on the items I had for other orders, waiting for the idea to hit me. Finally, I decided to do away with my idea of the thing I can’t explain or name, and grabbed my scissors and made a cut.

AHHHH! This was a big deal, but after I did that, I felt like I was going somewhere. Also, notice I rounded off the top part of what would be the hood of the car. Everything was making more sense now, but I was still unhappy with the vision, and I realized what the problem was all along – what’s the one thing that makes the monster truck, a monster truck? Besides the truck itself – the wheels. The way I’d originally envisioned this, I’d end up with some really small wheels and that’s why I kept resisting the process. It wouldn’t have come out right. Once I’d cut the middle flap of the bottom out though, the next move came – use the flaps to build the wheels outwardly. And so, the monster truck prop was officially born.

By this point as you can see, I’d also added my headlights and the top lights to help me envision the rest of the road. I got my black paint and brushes out, and voila! Also, I’d forgotten every car needs a steering wheel so, magic wand wave and –

Now we’re talking! How do you differentiate regular tires from big monster-truck type of wheels? The ridges! One moment please… POOF!

Ok now THAT is looking like a monster truck. I intended to add a grill of some sort (for which I’d bought the most perfect card stock and couldn’t wait to use it), but then came the last big hurdle: this needed to stand on its own. As you may have noticed in the inspiration pieces, those car props used stakes to stand in the grass, something that wouldn’t work in this scenario because the party would take place indoors. I needed something to make it stand. I had a few ideas from the beginning (sticks, wood springs, random things in my brain…) and then I realized the best thing to do would be to use a side panel from a tri-fold board, cut it diagonally, and build it into the back of the car. Basically, this –

OMG. It worked, and it worked SO WELL! The best part was that since it was all cardboard, it was completely lightweight and portable. I’m in love.

So now, all I needed was: final coat of paint, grill, and glue everything (all the lights were taped until I decided I liked the placement). Oh and wait… It’s too blue. It needs a pop of color… wait, I know!

The level of satisfaction I felt when I saw this finished? Can’t explain. After three weeks of no action, I did the bulk of this in 12 hours during the weekend. Also – side note – I decided not to glue the flag because I wasn’t sure it would fit in the car when pick-up time came, and good thing I didn’t! The prop barely fit and the top lights had to be folded a little bit, but no biggie. As long as it fits, it’s all cardboard and card stock and can be folded back into place.

Thank you for checking out the third and final chapter of this Riding Sturdy order! I’ll do one more post with all of the final item pictures, a quick story of the pick-up and – if possible – snapshots of the items in use!

PS – my original ranking was so dead wrong. This was the hardest to bring from brain to life, and also made the biggest impression on almost everyone, both in social media and in person. You think you know, but you really never do…

Riding Sturdy, Chapter 2: WCB Car Dealer, Inc.

After last week’s still unbelievably successful ramp construction, it was time to move on to the next item on the monster truck party order: the box trucks. Mateo’s mom saw a couple of images online of kids wearing boxes that were decorated like cars (like this one and this one on Pinterest), and wanted something similar for the party. This was probably one of the things I knew would be easiest to make out of the whole order, but still time consuming. The hardest parts were 1. Figuring out what size to buy the boxes. The party guest list included kids 3-5 years old, so the boxes had to be small enough to not drown them, but big enough to let them in with room. 2. Finding solid colored wrapping paper is so hard! Everything has patterns or lines or flowers, but I needed something completely solid. After hitting up a few stores, I managed to find the six colors I was looking for.

The list of materials for this project include: small box (got those at Walmart), wrapping paper, scissors (to cut the flaps off the boxes), tape (lots of it), a paper or plastic plate, contact paper, duct tape, ribbon, and whatever details you’d like to add to the car.

Now here’s an important step – since boxes come folded flat, it’s hard for them to stay squared/open once you wrap them. I used the flaps I cut off the boxes to create some sort of a “spring” that would keep the box squared with resistance (and more tape).

 

 

For the full craftutorial, watch this #CraftingWithKathy episode that *almost* didn’t happen but I decided to snap at the last possible moment, and even ended up bringing the “Pimp My Ride” franchise back to life…

Once I was done with them all, I thought my house looked like a car dealership. 😛 Stay tuned as I’m planning on bringing the big car prop to life next weekend!

Riding Sturdy, Chapter 1: Conceptualizing & Building a Ramp

As I shared on my last post, I’ve just agreed to build a ramp for a kid’s birthday party. I don’t know what possessed me to do this, but here I am. It’s go time, no take-backsies.

After getting the call and agreeing to making the three items for this monster truck-themed birthday, the first step was running to my local hardware store and figuring out prices of materials because as I mentioned in the intro blog for this order, I’ve never done anything remotely like this before, so I have no idea what I’m getting myself into cost-wise (or other). I drew a rough sketch of what I wanted the ramp to look like, and looked around for materials that fit the bill. I ended up guesstimating I’d spend about $70-80 on materials, so I ran the quote and dimensions of the ramp by the customer, and with her green light bought everything I thought I’d need to bring this to life.

Have you ever underestimated the cost of materials? Rookie mistake. I do it almost always. I ended up spending about $2 under what I had quoted for this ramp… which would upset a normal person, but the quote had been agreed upon and the order was in motion, so what’s the point of getting mad at myself? No energy can be wasted on this, so I just called it “marketing budget” and swiped that card. Then, don’t ask me how, I managed to get the stuff on the roof of my car all by myself, and even though I almost lost a hand holding it down on the way due to high winds, I made it home in one piece. 

The following morning, I started to paint the pieces while my friend came over to help (huge shoutout to Sandy for being so patient and awesome and supportive and giving up her entire Saturday to ensure I got my orders done in time without losing my mind, or a limb).

Without further ado, please enjoy this #CraftingWithKathy episode for a behind the scenes look at the progress of the ramp.

And this was our result of a hard day’s work!

If you watched the video, you could hear my hesitation when we first got started, and my excitement at the end of the day when it dawned on me that I’d actually be able to pull this off. The rest of the work to be done is cosmetic, but the infrastructure (which is the hard, heavy lifting) is DONE! I can’t believe it. Stay tuned for the final result!

PS – I was able to return a few of the items I originally purchased… but then also had to buy a few more, so I’m not even sure at this point if I made any profit at all, but this project is my pride and joy and the satisfaction of having finished it is like nothing else!